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First and Last – Nero Wolfe by Rex Stout

From the Wikipedia introduction to Nero Wolfe:

Nero Wolfe is a fictional character, a brilliant, oversized, eccentric armchair detective created in 1934 by American mystery writer Rex Stout. Wolfe was born in Montenegro and keeps his past murky. He lives in a luxurious brownstone on West 35th Street in New York City, and he is loath to leave his home for business or anything that would keep him from reading his books, tending his orchids, or eating the gourmet meals prepared by his chef, Fritz Brenner. Archie Goodwin, Wolfe’s sharp-witted, dapper young confidential assistant with an eye for attractive women, narrates the cases and does the legwork for the detective genius.

Stout wrote 33 novels and 41 novellas and short stories from 1934 to 1975, with most of them set in New York City. The stories have been adapted for film, radio, television and the stage. The Nero Wolfe corpus was nominated for Best Mystery Series of the Century at Bouchercon 2000, the world’s largest mystery convention, and Rex Stout was a nominee for Best Mystery Writer of the Century.

In 1956 Nero Wolfe was adapted to the daily comic strip format in a series of original mysteries.

above: The first Nero Wolfe comic strip appeared November 26, 1956

The comic strip wasn’t as popular as the the original prose series, lasting only 15 months and 1 week.

above: The last Nero Wolfe comic strip appeared March 1, 1958


There ain’t a whole lot about this strip on the Internet. Some fine pioneering work was done by William E. Kost back in 2007, and you can read his article HERE.  In 2009 the blog Stripper’s Guide provided a little more info on the writers and artists.

That above quote comes from Evan Lewis and is why this notice is appearing today. Because tomorrow on Evan’s Davy Crockett’s Almanack blog, from where all the images on this page are purloined, he will begin posting the entire run of the comic strip. You can check on the weekly updates every Saturday at the Nero Wolfe tagged link. Evan’s introduction to his latest undertaking is here, where he notes:

Though every strip carries the by-line Rex Stout, both Mr. Kost and the Stripper’s Guide identify the writer of the early months as John Broome. Thanks to a February 1957 letter from Stout (included in Kost’s article) we know Stout was fully engaged, receiving advance strips and providing input.

So here are the first and last of the Nero Wolfe comic strip,
and now you armchair detectives can read every strip in between at Davy Crockett’s Almanack.




Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
@ 6:03 pm

Thanks! I’ve recently found the CBC Nero Wolfe adaptations (archive dot org) and paid for a DVD of a 1950s pilot with Kurt Kaznar as Wolfe and William Shatner as Archie. Shatner, I’d say, had what it took to do justice and honor to the part. I always used to picture William Hopper as Archie, though lately Wayne Rogers has also proven adept at handling the role while I read.

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